Monday, November 26, 2007

Meta-Fiction & Soundtracks Proposals!


I have zwei Idee (two ideas) for my final.... heeerrreeee gooooessss:

1st Idea:
As many of you probably do not know at all, Nik and I enjoy all forms of fanfiction and such... which Adam and Nik will call "Meta-fiction" to look cooler. In any case, Nik and I have both created characters in an X-Men universe themed RPG board (yes, we are nerds, but if you're a programmer, pharmacist, engineer, or business major and laughing.... well, I mean, look at your majors! HA HA HA) and I thought it would be cool to produce a short story through the interaction of these two characters. In which case, Nik and I would both be contributing and writing a story by constantly switching the point of view of our characters....

The point is that fanfiction/roleplaying is a viable source of literature.... merely in a collaborative form. I know I did swear off collaborating again with anyone, but given that I could contribute a ridiculous amount of wordage to this idea and I have past experience in it (and Nik is doing an independent study on it...) I think we could probably put together something substantial. Besides the character bios that we've written (which are, at the very least, probably 2,000+ words each), Nik and I would have the short story, which between the two of us could be an effective 20-30 pager. The goal would be to produce an original work of fiction that is based loosely off of a set literary universe. Thus, proving my point that meta-fiction is just as much a source of literature as a solely written novel.

2nd Idea:
Plentious are the chapters in House of Leaves. Poe made a mediocre album that is supposed to be played along with the book. My proposition is that I believe I can find tracks that would more appropriately fit the mold of each chapter. After coming up with a soundtrack for the book (and crediting all bands/musicians I use) I would write an essay where I would list each track and then underneath it devote a pragraph or two explaining why the song choice and how it corresponds with the story in each chapter. Straightforward, but it's a lot more writing than it sounds, and requires quite a bit of research into the realm of music as well as a reread of most of the book.


Adam Johns said...

I like both ideas in principle - so far, so good.

In practice, I do have a couple comments/suggestions.

1) "Thus, proving my point that meta-fiction is just as much a source of literature as a solely written novel." This is a pretty good starting point for a thesis, but it invokes an implicit straw man. Who is claiming that fan fiction isn't literature, and why?

As a pseudo-Marxist (which I'm not, but I'll pretend to be for a moment), I could argue that writing about commercial characters makes you an unwitting tool of corporate capitalism, an unpaid adjunct of Marvel's marketing department.

As a guardian of high culture, I might argue that you're simply wasting your time by producing work with no _lasting_ merit.

So who are you advocating fan fiction to, or who are you protecting it from, and why?

I fully endorse this creative project as a creative project, but I'd also like it to have (or attain) some intellectual clarity as well.

2) This is a good idea too. What music do you have in mind? I know I'd use Beethoven's Great Fugue and Shostakovitch's 15th symphony (or parts of it), but on completely different note I'd associate Holloway, Jed and Wax with some Johny Cash or Willie Nelson... That's just an aside, though. On a more serious note, I'd think one possibility for an essay would be a response to Poe: an explanation of what you see as the inadequacies of the album (which I'm not completely crazy about either, but which I also think is impressive for its range of styles), and of why (intellectually as well as emotionally) you feel your soundtrack to be a better fit.

A. Benevent said...

I don't know anything about ad hominems or strawmen or any of that ridiculous stuff, so I'm just going to be straight up with it.

If you want to do something where you're going to be switching the point of view a lot, you might want to take a look at Danielewski's other novel, Only Revelations. It does a lot of that. You're supposed to read it one way for 8 pages, then flip it upside down and read it backwards for 8 pages, or some such. I haven't actually seen it, but I've heard.

Another thing is that you seem to be pretty sold on the idea of fanfiction. Why not a work of stand-alone fiction? Why not make your own characters, your own world? Fanfiction is "a viable source of literature" as you say it is, but it's also taking all the hard work out of writing (coming up with a setting, etc.)

I don't know.

A. Benevent said...

Oh, and about the soundtrack, thing. If you're going to make your own soundtrack, try not to get stuck on one particular band or genre too much.

Sure, Slayer's "Raining Blood" may be the right song for part A, but do you really need more Slayer down the line?

I've seen a lot of video projects get quite annoying because someone is either pimping their friend's band way too hard, or is just using a bunch of emo and whatnot. House of Leaves is a very ambitious book, and much the same as the house, is constantly changing. So too should your soundtrack, at least in my opinion.